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HOUSTON Houstonians had mixed reaction to the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement Monday recommending that emergency contraception be available to teens without a prescription.

Emergency contraception, sometimes called by one brand name, Plan B, only works if used up to 12 hours after unprotected sex or a condom failure. It works by preventing ovulation, possibly preventing fertilization or by altering the endometrium which inhibits implantation. The pill is available over the counter for females ages 17 and up and men ages 18 and up. Teens younger than that must get a prescription from a doctor.

The statement notes that the United States has a higher teen birth rate when compared to developing countries. Currently about 34 per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19-years-old get pregnant every year.

For more information visit pediatrics.aappublications.org

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